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Conservative?

by coldwarrior ( 123 Comments › )
Filed under Anarcho-Capitalism, Conservatism, Debt, Economy, government, Immigration, Libertarianism, Open thread, Politics, Regulation, Republican Party, taxation, Tea Parties, unemployment at May 16th, 2014 - 1:12 pm

Then I guess I ain’t one. No mention of deregulation at the federal level. No mention of any fiscally conservative issues like, oh, I don’t know, getting the budget and spending under control to avoid the obvious wall we are going to hit in a few years. No mention of tax reform. No mention of State’s rights. No mention of personal liberty. No mention of limiting the Federal Government’s role in our lives. These should be the ‘Agenda’ for the GOP. These should be Bedrock Issues.

 

But, predictably, No…It’s Abortion, ‘the family’ (not sure why fedgov needs to be involved in that), and illegal immigration. Now, if its up to me, abortion is up to the states where they could really make some headway like is being made on the second amendment. Mexico would be read the riot act and forced to close their side of the border, we would seal our southern border and the northern border. Hiring managers and HR and CEOs would do hard time for hiring illegals. There would be a path to citizenship, but it would be hard, and there would be work permits but they would only seasonal. Easy fix. took me 5 minutes.

 

Instead the usual crowd met and they talked about family values and abortion and fags. THE ECONOMY IS WRECKED!!!  WE HAVE 25% REAL UNEMPLOYMENT!!! WE ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF MONEY IN A FEW YEARS!!! REGULATION IS KILLING US!!! FEDGOV VIEWS THE CITIZENS AS CATTLE!!! But no, let’s beat our chests about abortion and fags.

I have begun to ask myself, why does this  GOP ‘conservative wing’ not want to focus on why America is becoming poorer and losing ground by the minute while stacking up debt by the minute that will enslave our kids and grand-kids? Do they not see or not care about the train wreck that is coming for the economy? Why does this group have a willful disregard for economics and liberty? Having Grover Norquist natter on and subscribing to the economically illiterate idea of a balanced budget amendment does not address the serious fiscal issues that we face. Not even close. If these guys were the board and GOP was a corporation, they would be fired by the shareholders for negligence.

Although many Republicans are optimistic about their chances in this year’s elections, some of Washington’s leading conservatives gathered Thursday to privately vent frustrations about what kind of party they will be left with after November.

The group, alarmed by a resurgence of the GOP establishment in recent primaries and what activists view as a softened message, drafted demands to be shared with senior lawmakers calling on the party to “recommit” to bedrock principles.

Some of those principles laid out in the new document — strict opposition to illegal immigration, same-sex marriage and abortion — represent the hot-button positions that many Republican congressional candidates are trying to avoid as the party attempts to broaden its appeal.

Several attendees said they fear that elected Republicans, even if they succeed in retaining control of the House and winning the Senate majority, would cast aside the core conservative base.

“Conservatives ought not to delude themselves that if Republicans win the Senate majority, it will somehow be a conservative majority,” said L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center, which monitors perceived media bias. “We should have no expectation whatsoever that they will listen. That’s why we’re fighting.”

Others worry that a toned-down campaign message by the party would dim GOP turnout and undercut Republicans in competitive races.

“I’m terrified that Republicans will blow this election if they are not going to stand for something,” said Michael A. Needham, the chief executive of Heritage Action, a conservative group.

Stand for something!?! How about standing for State’s rights, personal liberty and less regulation/federal control as ‘Bedrock Issues’? Why not restrain Fedzilla and get them off of our backs as a Bedrock Issue? They can start with USDA agents with machine guns and bullet proof vests then move to the BLM and ATF and EPA. How about standing for not selling our kids and grand-kids into debt slavery as a Bedrock Issue?

Debt is slavery and regulation is the whip.

Liberty is a gift. Liberty is a real and universal family value.

Debt and Liberty weren’t on the agenda.

 

*SO, this is what drives me mad about these people who call themselves conservative* Where is the liberty? Where is the reduction of enslaving debt?   Makes me crazy…so don’t get all out of whack over this post. It is for illustration purposes only.

 

Oh well…have a great friday and weekend yinz!

The Administrative Assault On The Constitution: Why Electing Third Party Candidates Won’t Matter Either

by Flyovercountry ( 163 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, EPA, government, Progressives, Regulation at May 6th, 2014 - 3:09 pm

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

On February 4, 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed into law, the very first piece of legislation that created a regulatory agency. On that date in our nation’s history, the Interstate Commerce Commission was created. This event represents in many ways, the birth of the progressive assault on the U.S. Constitution. The ICC for those of you who aren’t familiar with its impact upon the daily lives of every person living within our borders, was granted the power and authority of all three branches of our federal government. Its creation represents perhaps the single most important step in destroying the checks and balances system so thoughtfully put into place by our nation’s founders. The theory was that our nation had become to large and complex to govern in the manner proscribed by the constitutional form of governance created close to 100 years prior to that date. A new system was needed where independent regulatory agencies would be able to take a more proactive role in the specific areas of their purview. These independent agencies would provide, where necessary, a more efficient address of problems needing solution than the designed gridlock built into our constitutional architecture. This belief was born out of the gridlock of the 1860′s, 70′s, and 80′s, in which the railroads were the target of a concerted effort to gin up complaint in regards to the prices charged customers who might seek passage on the short hauls. During the entire decade, endless debate was held in Congress, and shockingly, a solution could not be agreed upon. (It is worthy of note that Milton Friedman highlighted this very debate and ensuing solution as a part of his, “Free to Choose,” series, specifically, episode seven. His argument, and one that I happen to agree with, was that a solution was not necessary, since the problem was overblown, not real, and would have been better addressed by simply allowing the market place to sort itself out, as it always had previously. It should also be noted that rail travel in the United States at that time, even on the short hauls, was far cheaper than in the European nations, where government intervention was far more prevalent.)

As a direct result of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, the disparity of the long haul versus short haul rates was solved by raising the former to reflect the latter, rather than the other way around. It took about a decade for the consumer advocates of the day to move on to their next crusade, and left the control of the ICC completely up to the industry experts of the time, who were of course the very owners of the railroads that the Commission in question was supposed to be regulating in the first place. The ICC was used as a regulatory bludgeon to keep smaller companies from entering into the already very competitive railroad market, and when Trucks became a viable economic alternative, and quickly grew into a superior economic alternative, the trucking industry got itself added to the purview of the ICC. Today of course, as a result of this, there are trucking companies in America which make large profits without owning or operating a single truck. They simply buy and lease ICC licenses, adding a layer of cost to every item purchased by any citizen anywhere in America at any time.

Worse than that however is the fact that as is almost always the case, the specific problems sought to be solved by this particular agency were only made worse. By the time the 10th birthday candle was placed on the top of the ICC cake, the original intention was ignored and or forgotten completely, and a whole new scope of regulatory authority and control was fabricated, by the agency itself. This by the way is a real danger to anyone wishing to live free from the yoke of government tyranny. The ICC had failed completely in its original mission, as almost every agency does. That failure however was never accounted for, nor was any accounting sought. Instead, the agency simply wrote itself a new mission, which was of course completely opposite of the intended purpose. The progressive model so expertly thrust upon us, to the point where we’ve missed its implementation entirely, is that the Legislators draft a law with extremely vague language. A broad vision is laid out in terms of the area of our society that they wish to see placed under the control of said agency. The details of the new law are proscribed to be filled in later by the newly created government agency. An example of this in action is the Dodd/Frank Law that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Congress passed a law which said, we want to regulate how our credit markets will operate, so that the credit consumer would be protected against greedy money lenders looking to do harm to the little guy. It was pretty much that vague, except that a new government agency, The CPFB, would write the rules necessary to place the entire financial services sector of our economy under complete control of the newly formed regulatory authority. Here we are some 5 years later, and Richard Cordray, the former Ohio Attorney General that Ohioans got tired of after only 4 short years, has carte blanche to rewrite how an entire sector of our economy will function. Never mind fellow little people, that he has not one second’s experience in the function of our capital market place, nor will he have any bothersome oversight to interfere with him as he writes those rules, nor even what those rules will ultimately be. If you wish to purchase a house, ever, it’s up to Richard Cordray now, how or if that will happen.

The agency you see, not only comes with the power to write its own rules, but also with the power of the Executive Branch, since this is where all agencies reside, to manage how those rules are enforced. Beyond that however, in all but the most severe cases, the courts have by and large simply abdicated their own place in this process by allowing these entities to adjudicate their own disputes. For the most part, the answer of the Judicial Branch has been to allow the agencies wide leeway in terms of settling any differences that private citizens may have with the management of agency business. So much for separation of power, one of the principle tenets of our constitutional republic.

Every four years in this nation we hold national beauty pageants designed to choose the leaders of our Executive Branch. Invariably those leaders come from one of two major political parties, and any belief that this will change any time soon is simply the worst form of naive wishful idiocy. Sorry Gods of the Third Party, but that is fact, and no amount of whining combined with coercive bullying will change that. The system is rigged in favor of the two major political parties, and that state of being rigged has been codified into our national election law. If you expect the apparatchiks of the two major political parties to ever work together in order to relinquish their grip on power, I happen to own a bridge that spans from Brooklyn to Manhattan in the State of New York that I’d be willing to sell to you. Short of an Article V convention, this state of Democrats and Republican owning a choke hold on our national political scene will not go away. (Here by the way is an excellent addition to the Article V list, for those interested.)

Even if however, a Libertarian Candidate for President let’s pretend, actually manages to win an election, that President would still be stuck with managing Federal Agencies who have been previously granted the authority to act on their own behalf and govern their individual fiefdoms as they see fit. George W. Bush did succeed in some small measure to curb the activities of the federal behemoth, but mostly, all of the independent regulatory agencies operate in mostly the same fashion whether there’s an R or a D following the Chief Executive’s name. So, while I singled out George W. Bush, simply because he was the last one with an R, the same could be said for every Republican President from 1887 onward. They simply do not have the means available to get a hold of the monster created, as the laws as written have created these individual heads of the Hydra to operate outside of any possible constraint. (I am seeing yet another good argument for an Article V Convention here. I would also like to point out that one President did actually try to place legal limits upon agency authority and scope in our country, and that man was Richard Nixon. He failed spectacularly, and found himself chased from town.) The point is, that no matter what promise may or may not be made, getting hold of the monster and curbing its scope is impossible without repealing the existing law that created it, and it will take much more than electing one single Libertarian with the right rhetoric in order to see this accomplished.

We on the political right won’t get our way until we get our collective crap together and begin winning a lot of elections. Until that day, be prepared to live life in the Worker’s Paradise my friends. I’ll see you in the reeducation camps.

The previously mentioned episode of, “Free to Choose.”

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

A Checklist from 1958

by Bunk X ( 100 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Cult of Obama, Democratic Party, government, History, Politics, Progressives at March 30th, 2014 - 5:00 pm

Congressional Record–Appendix, pp. A34-A35

January 10, 1963

Current Communist Goals

EXTENSION OF REMARKS OF HON. A. S. HERLONG, JR. OF FLORIDA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Thursday, January 10, 1963

Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

[From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen 1958]

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1.   U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2.   U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3.   Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4.   Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5.   Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6.   Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7.   Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8.   Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9.   Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Remember When NASA Concerned Itself Primarily With Space Exploration?

by Flyovercountry ( 139 Comments › )
Filed under Democratic Party, government, Progressives, Science, Space Exploration at March 24th, 2014 - 7:00 am

So I found this one originally when I traveled to Investor’s Business Daily. All I could think in the immediate aftermath was this. Exactly how far into the crapper does the current Administration wish to sink the once proud agency? The answer must be pretty God Damned far, since institutionalized madness seems to be the rule there, and not the exception.

We should have known that something was up when Barack Obama decided to buck the trend of every single President who had a NASA in his Administration prior, and not appoint his Vice President to head the agency. Not that Joe Biden would have been good at the job mind you, but it shows that the Bamster had something else in mind. Something else is indeed what it has turned into.

You can not make this stuff up, it’s truly too bizarre. From the IBD article linked to above:

As odd as this report is, it seems less strange when we consider that just four years ago President Obama told NASA administrator Charles Bolden, in Bolden’s words, that “perhaps (his) foremost” priority should be “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.”

Recently, NASA has done little beyond publishing papers that tow the leftist line. It’s gotten so bad at the former space agency that last week, a group of NASA rocket scientists who were not the politically connected bureaucrats chosen to manage the decline, banded together and told us all that this global warming nonsense was indeed a hoax, and that we shouldn’t take anything said by the Science Director, James Hansen, seriously, should he venture into the field of science. You may think that it really couldn’t go down from there, and you’d be wrong.

This my friends, is what the IBD article pointed me to. Putting aside for just one moment that this recreation of the Communist Manifesto penned by Karl Marx combined with the C.W. Mills Power Elite Theory, and sprinkled with some Thomas Hobbs on the side has not one thing at all to do with space or the exploration of space, one might possess just the slightest amount of curiosity as to the validity of the underlying study that has predicted the end of human existence on our planet within just a few years. Who is the author, Safa Motesharrei, and what exactly are his qualifications to make such an horrific prediction, and then have that prediction taken so seriously by supposedly educated men?

Safa Motesharrei, as it turns out is an electrical engineer, with a masters of some kind in mathematics, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland. He wrote this thesis while working for SESYNC, a lefty activist organization predisposed to stop all fracing, the Keystone XL Pipeline, GMO Farming, and every other lunatic left environmental position which has plagued free societies for the past six decades. My bet, they had a lot to do with incandescent light bulbs being declared verboten. I’m not certain here, and I’m only spit balling, but I’d be willing to go out on a limb and suggest that maybe the conclusion for the apocalypse prediction might have been drawn prior to any actual research having taken place.

I’m certain that Mr. Motesharrei is a fine engineer and mathematician, but he is decidedly not an economist, or an historian. NASA, by putting their name and reputation behind this crap has managed to lower their stature to the level somewhere decidedly south of cocktail party joke. I wouldn’t blame the Russians one bit if they refused to continue giving our suddenly hitch hiking astronauts rides to the International Space Station. Based on baloney like this, it’s obvious that they’ll not be doing any actual science up there anyhow.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Missouri and the 10th Amendment, Governor Perry and State’s Rights

by coldwarrior ( 115 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, government, Libertarianism, Open thread, Politics, Republican Party, Tea Parties at January 27th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

MO and The 10th Amendment…this is something we need to keep an eye on. Apparently they have had enough of DC and are ready to act. And Gov Perry makes even more sense on state’s rights. Barry Goldwater is smiling.

Missouri Makes Big States’ Rights Push

 

Undaunted by a 2013 effort to nullify federal gun laws, a group of Missouri legislators are launching a wider effort to push for states’ rights by attempting nullify several federal laws in the state.

USA Today reports that among the proposals in the Missouri General Assembly is a Committee on the Tenth Amendment. That panel would keep an eye out for federal legislation that infringes on Missouri’s sovereignty.

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that all powers not given to the federal government or prohibited to the states lie with the states or with the people. The Missiouri lawmakers are basing their actions on the amendment.

One senator wants voters to decide on abolishing federal laws legalizing same-sex marriage, abortion, and more, USA Today reports. And another bill would exempt products made in Missouri that don’t leave the state from interstate commerce laws. All such products would have to be stamped, “Made in Missiouri.”

The group modeled its 10th Amendment bill on a model bill by the Tenth Amendment Center, which seeks to nullify what it considers intrusive federal laws.

“It does not negate anything that we currently have on the books, nor does it negate anything that we can do as a state. Meaning, if we feel that the federal government is doing their job and we like their rules, those rules will apply,” Rep. Chrissy Sommer, R-St. Charles, told USA Today.

Self-described political scientist John Davidson warned lawmakers against the bill at a public hearing, saying they are not considering the consequences. Since current Missouri law outlaws machine guns and sawed-off shotguns, he said, they would become legal under the “Made in Missouri” law so long and the guns were made in the state and were also bought there.

Separately, the Missouri Senate began hearings last week on a bill similar to one vetoed last year that would make it a crime for federal agents to enforce gun laws in the state, reports The Washington Post. The bill calls for jailing violators for up to a year and fining them as much as $1,000. It also would allow some school officials to carry concealed weapons, even where local laws prohibit concealed carry.

And….Rick Perry on State’s Rights

 

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Rick Perry speaks with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the World Economic Forum.

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry is defending the rights of states, such as Colorado and Washington, to legalize marijuana, and he said Thursday that Texas has taken steps toward decriminalizing the drug.

Perry was on a panel discussing drug laws that included former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Annan and Santos said drug laws had proved ineffective and had made criminals out of generations of young people, as well as helped empower drug cartels.

Perry said he doesn’t believe in legalizing certain drugs, according to an account of the panel by U.S. News & World Report. But Perry also emphasized that he is a staunch believer in states’ rights on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

“States should be allowed to make those decisions,” he said.

Perry said that Texas has begun to “implement policies that start us toward a decriminalization” of marijuana. He cited specialized drug courts that offer treatment instead of jail time and the reduction of penalties for minor drug offenses.

The governor’s spokesman, Lucy Nashed, sidestepped questions about whether Perry supported decriminalizing marijuana in Texas — where having or selling small amounts are misdemeanors — saying only that drug courts have worked in Texas and should be an example to other states and countries.

“He’s very much for rehabbing and a diversionary program [rather] than sending people directly to jail,” Nashed said. “This is for nonviolent offenders and, for a lot of circumstances, it’s the right policy.”

The governor said he doubted Texas would legalize pot anytime soon.

“We certainly would never jump out in front of the parade,” Perry said, according to U.S. News.

Perry’s ability to push for a major policy change is limited at this point. He’s leaving office after this year, and the Legislature isn’t scheduled to meet again in his tenure.

During his four days in Switzerland, Perry has been meeting with entrepreneurs, heads of state and other luminaries. He’s posted pictures of himself on Twitter with computer company president Michael Dell, former presidential candidate and publishing executive Steve Forbes, and Santos.

Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy (From National Review)

by Mars ( 162 Comments › )
Filed under Corruption, Crime, Democratic Party, Elections, government, Politics, Progressives at January 15th, 2014 - 7:00 am

Voter fraud is discussed over and over and we keep being told by the same liberal talking heads that it is not happening and would be too difficult to achieve. Really? Difficult? Tell that to the City of New York. What is amazing is the response of the elected officials to the revelations from the investigation. Voter fraud and corruption always go hand in hand.

January 12, 2014 6:30 PM
Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy
Undercover agents were able to vote as dead people, but election officials are attacking the agents.
By John Fund

Liberals who oppose efforts to prevent voter fraud claim that there is no fraud — or at least not any that involves voting in person at the polls.

But New York City’s watchdog Department of Investigations has just provided the latest evidence of how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest. DOI published its findings two weeks ago in a searing 70-page report accusing the city’s Board of Elections of incompetence, waste, nepotism, and lax procedures.

The Board of Elections, which has a $750 million annual budget and a work force of 350 people, reacted in classic bureaucratic fashion, which prompted one city paper to deride it as “a 21st-century survivor of Boss Tweed–style politics.” The Board approved a resolution referring the DOI’s investigators for prosecution. It also asked the state’s attorney general to determine whether DOI had violated the civil rights of voters who had moved or are felons, and it sent a letter of complaint to Mayor Bill de Blasio. Normally, I wouldn’t think de Blasio would give the BOE the time of day, but New York’s new mayor has long been a close ally of former leaders of ACORN, the now-disgraced “community organizing” group that saw its employees convicted of voter-registration fraud all over the country during and after the 2008 election.

Greg Soumas, president of New York’s BOE, offered a justification for calling in the prosecutors: “If something was done in an untoward fashion, it was only done by DOI. We [are] unaware of any color of authority on the part of [DOI] to vote in the identity of any person other than themselves — and our reading of the election law is that such an act constitutes a felony.” The Board is bipartisan, and all but two of its members voted with Soumas. The sole exceptions were Democrat Jose Araujo, who abstained because the DOI report implicated him in hiring his wife and sister-and-law for Board jobs, and Republican Simon Shamoun.

Good-government groups are gobsmacked at Soumas’s refusal to smell the stench of corruption in his patronage-riddled empire. “They should focus not on assigning blame to others, but on taking responsibility for solving the problems themselves,” Dick Dadey of the watchdog group Citizens Union told the Daily News. “It’s a case of the Board of Elections passing the buck.” DOI officials respond that the use of undercover agents is routine in anti-corruption probes and that people should carefully read the 70-page report they’ve filed before criticizing it. They are surprised how little media attention their report has received.

You’d think more media outlets would have been interested, because the sloppiness revealed in the DOI report is mind-boggling. Young undercover agents were able to vote using the names of people three times their age, people who in fact were dead. In one example, a 24-year female agent gave the name of someone who had died in 2012 at age 87; the workers at the Manhattan polling site gave her a ballot, no questions asked. Even the two cases where poll workers turned away an investigator raise eyebrows. In the first case, a poll worker on Staten Island walked outside with the undercover investigator who had just been refused a ballot; the “voter” was advised to go to the polling place near where he used to live and “play dumb” in order to vote. In the second case, the investigator was stopped from voting only because the felon whose name he was using was the son of the election official at the polling place.

Shooting the messenger has been a typical reaction in other states when people have demonstrated just how easy it is to commit voter fraud. Guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe had three of his assistants visit precincts during New Hampshire’s January 2012 presidential primary. They asked poll workers whether their books listed the names of several voters, all deceased individuals still listed on voter-registration rolls. Poll workers handed out ten ballots, never once asking for a photo ID. O’Keefe’s team immediately gave back the ballots, unmarked, to precinct workers. Debbie Lane, a ballot inspector at one of the Manchester polling sites, later said: “I wasn’t sure what I was allowed to do. . . . I can’t tell someone not to vote, I suppose.” The only precinct in which O’Keefe or his crew did not obtain a ballot was one in which the local precinct officer had personally known the dead “voter.”

New Hampshire’s Democratic governor, John Lynch, sputtered when asked about O’Keefe’s video, and he condemned the effort to test the election system even though no actual votes were cast. “They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, if in fact they’re found guilty of some criminal act,” he roared. But cooler heads eventually prevailed, and the GOP state legislature later approved a voter-ID bill, with enough votes to override the governor’s veto. Despite an exhaustive and intrusive investigation, no charges were ever filed against any of O’Keefe’s associates.

Later in 2012, in Washington, D.C., one of O’Keefe’s assistants was able to obtain Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot even though Holder is 62 years old and bears no resemblance to the 22-year-old white man who obtained it merely by asking if Eric Holder was on the rolls. But the Department of Justice, which is currently suing Texas to block that state’s photo-ID law, dismissed the Holder ballot incident as “manufactured.” The irony was lost on the DOJ that Holder, a staunch opponent of voter-ID laws, could have himself been disenfranchised by a white man because Washington, D.C., has no voter-ID law. Polls consistently show that more than 70 percent of Americans — including clear majorities of African Americans and Hispanics — support such laws.

Liberals who oppose ballot-security measures claim that there are few prosecutions for voter fraud, which they take to mean that fraud doesn’t happen. But as the New York DOI report demonstrates, it is comically easy, given the sloppy-voter registration records often kept in America, to commit voter fraud in person. (A 2012 study by the Pew Research Center found that nationwide, at least 1.8 million deceased voters are still registered to vote.) And unless someone confesses, in-person voter fraud is very difficult to detect — or stop. New York’s Gothamist news service reported last September that four poll workers in Brooklyn reported they believed people were trying to vote in the name of other registered voters. Police officers observed the problems but did nothing because voter fraud isn’t under the police department’s purview.

What the DOI investigators were able to do was eerily similar to actual fraud that has occurred in New York before. In 1984, Brooklyn’s Democratic district attorney, Elizabeth Holtzman, released a state grand-jury report on a successful 14-year conspiracy that cast thousands of fraudulent votes in local, state, and congressional elections. Just like the DOI undercover operatives, the conspirators cast votes at precincts in the names of dead, moved, and bogus voters. The grand jury recommended voter ID, a basic election-integrity measure that New York has steadfastly refused to implement.

In states where non-photo ID is required, it’s also all too easy to manufacture records that allow people to vote. In 2012, the son of Congressman Jim Moran, the Democrat who represents Virginia’s Washington suburbs, had to resign as field director for his father’s campaign after it became clear that he had encouraged voter fraud. Patrick Moran was caught advising an O’Keefe videographer on how to commit in-person voter fraud. The scheme involved using a personal computer to forge utility bills that would satisfy Virginia’s voter-ID law and then relying on the assistance of Democratic lawyers stationed at the polls to make sure the fraudulent votes were counted. Last year, Virginia tightened its voter-ID law and ruled that showing a utility bill was no longer sufficient to obtain a ballot.

Given that someone who is dead, is in jail, or has moved isn’t likely to complain if someone votes in his name, how do we know that voter fraud at the polls isn’t a problem? An ounce of prevention — in the form of voter ID and better training of poll workers — should be among the minimum precautions taken to prevent an electoral miscarriage or meltdown in a close race.

After all, even a small number of votes can have sweeping consequences. Al Franken’s 312-vote victory in 2008 over Minnesota senator Norm Coleman gave Democrats a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 votes, which allowed them to pass Obamacare. Months after the Obamacare vote, a conservative group called Minnesota Majority finished comparing criminal records with voting rolls and identified 1,099 felons — all ineligible to vote — who had voted in the Franken–Coleman race. Fox News random interviews with ten of those felons found that nine had voted for Franken, backing up national academic studies that show felons tend to vote strongly for Democrats.

Minnesota Majority took its findings to prosecutors across the state, but very few showed any interest in pursuing the issue. Some did, though, and 177 people have been convicted as of mid 2012 — not just “accused” but actually convicted — of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Probably the only reason the number of convictions isn’t higher is that the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that the person must have been both ineligible and must have “knowingly” voted unlawfully. Anyone accused of fraud is apt to get off by claiming he didn’t know he’d done anything wrong.

Given that we now know for certain how easy it is to commit undetectable voter fraud and how serious the consequences can be, it’s truly bizarre to have officials at the New York City Board of Elections and elsewhere savage those who shine a light on the fact that their modus operandi invites fraud. One might even think that they’re covering up their incompetence or that they don’t want to pay attention to what crimes could be occurring behind the curtains at their polling places. Or both.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-its-easy-john-fund/page/0/1

Pussy Riot, Putin, Freedom, and Religion

by coldwarrior ( 152 Comments › )
Filed under Free Speech, government, Media, Open thread, Orthodox Christianity, Politics, Russia at January 8th, 2014 - 7:00 am

This is the most sane piece of writing yet on the subject of Pussy Riot. It is very informative and very correct. To understand what happened in Russia with this group and the government and the Orthodox Church, one must understand the role each plays in Russia:

Pussy Riot is Free! But They Aren’t Russia’s Key to Freedom.

There’s a huge disparity between what American media is reporting and what Pussy Riot really stands for.

Pussy Riot is free! The western world has poured out support for these daring punk rock feminists in their pursuit for life, liberty, and so on and so forth in their underdog fight against Soviet Premier Bond villain Russian President Vladimir Putin, and you should be overjoyed. At least, that’s the narrative dominating American media. Unfortunately, this reductive view of the affair overlooks the damage groups like Pussy Riot may do to the cause of freedom — and the group’s own disregard for liberal values.

It may surprise American readers to find out that Pussy Riot’s own countrymen are hardly as sympathetic to the band’s plight. The Levada Center, a major survey conductor, shows that few Russians think the women deserved little or no punishment. Often, the plurality believe the punishment was deserved or insufficient. Even educated, western-leaning, liberal, anti-Putin individuals look unfavorably upon them. The face of the political opposition, Alexei Navalny, derided Pussy Riot as “fools who commit petty crimes for the sake of publicity.”

Let’s recap what happened. In February 2012, a herd of ski-masked individuals stormed the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, one of the most venerated religious sites in Russia, called for Putin’s removal from power, and sang anti-Christian insults.

Three members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Yekaterina Samutsevich, and Maria Alyokhina, were charged with “flagrant violation of public order, expressing clear disrespect for society, committed… on the grounds of political, ideological, racial, ethnic or religious hatred or enmity or hatred or animosity towards any social group.” This crime is punishable up to five years hard labor or seven years in prison. All three women were found guilty and sentenced to two years in penal colonies. An appeals court quickly released Samutsevich on probation. After serving over a year, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were also released, due to a federal amnesty bill.

The Russian government reminded the world why it ranks so poorly on so many freedom indexes, and the the Western world was quick to admonish the abuse of Pussy Riot’s rights. Without a doubt, the two-year sentences were a gross overstep, demonstrating how willing Russia is to suppress dissident voices. Pussy Riot’s release may have been abbreviated by the nation’s legal standards, but their offensive-yet-harmless act never warranted imprisonment in the first place. A society that punishes civil disobedience so harshly is not a free society.

But American media has ignorantly deduced that because Pussy Riot is the enemy of our enemy, the band must be our friend. They frame the affair as clear-cut “good vs. evil” between Pussy Riot and Putin. GQ is not alone in painting these women as “freedom fighters.” One might expect conservative outlets to be more critical of the anti-Christian antics, but even the National Review sides with the band.

Without a doubt, Pussy Riot should be free to express its beliefs without the fear of imprisonment, but they themselves are not freedom fighters. They have said contradictory things about freedom, but in no uncertain terms have described themselves “Trotskyists” and “anarchists” who are “part of the global anti-capitalist movement.” Numerous times in the past, the women of Pussy Riot have also committed lewd and destructive acts as part of the “art terrorist” group Voina, which means “War.”

Denis Bochkarev cc byDenis Bochkarev cc byTerrorizing people, insulting their beliefs, and damaging property certainly doesn’t mesh with America’s sense of promoting freedom, and it makes one wonder how Pussy Riot would proceed if they could depose Putin. Would they suddenly embrace free minds and markets, or would they follow in the footsteps of their ideological forebearers and punish people they brand as dissidents? I’d cautiously guess the latter.

Even so, the Western audience might expect Russians to stand in solidarity with Pussy Riot and praise how much international attention they drew to the nation’s troubled legal system.

At least in Pussy Riot’s case, the band virtually guaranteed this would never happen. To understand why, one must understand that Russia’s relationship with religion is quite different than America’s, and it gives authority a much greater status.

Antagonizing the Orthodox Church is not popular, even among the youth. Orthodoxy formed the legal and cultural foundations of contemporary Russia over a thousand years ago. Religion was an integral part of national identity until the Soviets came into power. The communists persecuted Christians and even destroyed the cathedral (later rebuilt) where Pussy Riot protested. The Church again has widespread support, and is far more popular than Putin.

Pussy Riot also represents chaos, and Russians do not like chaos. Throughout history, they have put faith in strongmen-type leaders to prevent it. Chaos, for Russians, is a bogeyman, and the wound of chaos has been reopened in the lifetime of most Russians. In the 1990s, the nation was subject to the lawlessness of widespread organized crime and domestic warfare. And, the threat of a nation destabilized by terrorism is far more real for Russians than it is for Americans. The nation has seen many terrorist attacks, and continues to be subject to bombings. Pussy Riot’s “propaganda by deed” rubs Russians about as well as bomb threat hoaxes did Americans post-9/11.

Whether or not correlation implies causation, Putin’s ascent to power has generally marked the reemergence of a stable, prosperous, and internationally important Russia, and citizens are unfortunately willing to compromise their rights for that kind of security. Pussy Riot’s antics were at best a garish parody of Western secular values, and at worst a reminder of darker, more chaotic times in their own history. It is no surprise that the average Russian thinks far more favorably of Putin than Pussy Riot.

Americans are right to criticize the Russian government for trampling human rights. But, if we want to work toward greater freedom throughout the world, we may first want to focus on our own shortcomings (some of which are not unlike Russia’s). Then, if we hope to have a positve impact on another nation, we should understand that the antics of groups like Pussy Riot may actually be counterproductive.

NC City Councilman Resigns…in Klingon

by Macker ( 3 Comments › )
Filed under government, Headlines, taxation at January 3rd, 2014 - 10:42 pm

Here’s the letter:

He isn’t a Demo☭rat either…otherwise we’d all have a field day with this. Perhaps we should wish him…Qa’pla!

Ghost of Goldwater Past?

by coldwarrior ( 82 Comments › )
Filed under Barry Goldwater, Economy, government, Open thread, Politics at December 19th, 2013 - 8:00 am

Well, what do we have here? The ghost of Goldwater past? Has he been visiting the big government, gimmegimmegimmes? Are the people waking up to him at the foot of their bed ready to admonish them about dreary manacle-clanging governments in the future?

 

This is progress. Progress, i pray, toward a better nation where there are more personal liberties, states rights, and less government.

 

Record High in U.S. Say Big Government Greatest Threat

Now 72% say it is greater threat than big business or big labor

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ — Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question. The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time.

Trend: Views of Biggest Threat to U.S. in Future

The latest update comes from a Dec. 5-8 poll. Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55% in March 2009 to 64% in November 2011 and 72% today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act — perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — may be factors.

Currently, 21% name big business as the greatest threat, while 5%, a record low, say big labor. The high point for big labor was 29% in 1965. No more than 11% of Americans have chosen big labor since 1995, clearly reflecting the decline of the labor movement in the United States in recent decades.

The historical high choosing big business, 38%, came in 2002, after a series of corporate scandals rocked major corporations including Enron and Tyco. Also at that time, Americans may have been less willing to choose government given the rally in support for government institutions and officials after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Americans were also more likely to view big business as a big threat during the recent recession, with more than three in 10 choosing it in 2008 and 2009, a time when many large corporations, including financial and automotive companies, failed or were in danger of failing without government intervention. But fewer Americans now view big business as a threat — the current 21% is the lowest Gallup has measured since 1983.

Republicans Especially Likely to See Big Government as Threat

Even though Americans have always viewed big government as the greatest threat, the degree to which they do so has varied. In recent decades, since the start of the Clinton administration, perceptions of big government as a threat have varied depending on the party of the president. Since Barack Obama took office in 2009, an average of 64% of Americans have named big government as the greatest threat. That is up from an average 56% during George W. Bush’s administration from 2001-2008, but similar to the 65% average from 1993-2000 during the Clinton administration.

This pattern is largely driven by Republicans, who generally are more likely to be concerned about the size and power of government, and this concern is amplified when a Democrat is president. Democrats are more likely to see government as a threat when a Republican is in office; however, they tend to see government as less threatening than Republicans do, and their concern about big government topped out at 62% in 2005 under Bush.

Trend: Perceptions of "Big Government" as Biggest Threat to the Future of the Country, by Political Party Identification

During the Johnson, Nixon, Carter, and Reagan administrations, party differences were much more modest than they are today.

Each party group currently rates big government as the greatest threat to the country, including a record-high 92% of Republicans and 71% of independents, as well as 56% of Democrats. Democrats are most likely of the partisan groups to name big business as the biggest threat, at 36%; relatively few Republicans, 4%, view big business as the most threatening.

Views of Biggest Threat to Future of the Country, by Political Party, December 2013

Implications

Americans have consistently viewed big government as a greater threat to the United States than either big business or big labor, but never more than they do now. That may be partly a reaction to an administration that favors the use of government to solve problems. Also, the revelation of widespread government monitoring of U.S. Internet activity may be a factor in raising Americans’ concern about the government. The threat of big business may seem diminished now, during a relatively calm period for big business, with rising stock values and relatively few major corporate scandals such as occurred in the early 2000s. Also, the labor movement is far less influential in U.S. policy today than in the past, including in 1965, when Gallup first asked the question.

In the future, Americans likely will continue to view big government as the greatest threat of the three, partly because of Republicans’ reluctance to rely on government to solve problems, and because Democrats and independents are also inclined to view big government as a greater threat than big business or big labor. But the percentage of Americans viewing big government as the greatest threat will also likely to continue to vary, in response to current conditions in the political and business environments.

Landmark Suit Tells Feds: State Gun Laws Are None Of Your Business

by Mars ( 102 Comments › )
Filed under Communism, Crime, Democratic Party, Fascism, Free Speech, government, Liberal Fascism, Nazism, Patriotism, Politics, Progressives, Second Amendment at December 16th, 2013 - 7:00 am

 

Landmark Suit Tells Feds: State Gun Laws Are None Of Your Business

Written by: Tara Dodrill Self Defense December 6, 2013 1 Comment

Lawsuit states that Montana gunmakers want the federal government to “butt out” of gun sales which take place within the state, and they’ve sued the US Justice Department in an attempt to do just that.

The lawsuit filed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association maintains the US Constitution does not give the federal government authority to enact regulations and restrictions pertaining to guns made, sold, and kept inside the State of Montana.

The lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to uphold the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, which was enacted in 2009 and which says the federal government does not have authority over firearms that are made and sold within the state of Montana. For firearms to not be subject to federal laws, each gun must be labeled “Made In Montana,” according to the ’09 law. Other states have implemented similar laws, although their future is uncertain.

A lower court and appeals court ruled against Montana’s law.

Specifically, the lawsuit asks the high court to uphold the 9th and 10th Amendments.

The 9th Amendment says:

“The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

The 10th Amendment reads:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, actually wrote the Supreme Court justices a personal letter in November, explaining the rationale behind the law. Such a letter is unique and was separate from the legal briefs.

Marbut told local media that he wants to make a bolt-action, small, youth-model rifle he calls the Montana Buckaroo. The gun would be sold within the state. Marbut’s plan to manufacture the youth rifle has been thwarted by federal officials and courts who say the gun would be illegal.

Marbut told the Supreme Court justices:

“The natives are beyond restless. They are at the stage of collecting torches and pitchforks and preparing to head for the castle gates en masse.

Advocates of the law have garnered legal support from the attorneys general from the states of Montana, Utah, Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

An excerpt from the Montana Shooting Sports Association lawsuit reads:

The wholesale stripping of independent sovereignty from the states has destroyed the balance of power, and given the federal government advantages it demonstrably tends to abuse. The outrage that is our $17 trillion national debt [which amounts to more than $149,000 per taxpayer] may be the worst example. By borrowing more money than the current generation can repay in our lifetimes, Congress leaves a legacy of debt for future generations. Our progeny did not consent to the monumental hole their parents are digging for them. Still, they will certainly be saddled with the duty to make good. This is tyranny.

The Montana Shooting Sports Association lawsuit also argues that “dual sovereignty” should be restored within the US. Marbut staunchly feels that the lawsuit and the 10th Amendment protections extend far beyond the issue of gun rights.

Read the entire article here.